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Using Inclusive Research Methods and the Housing Pathways Framework in Future Planning and Housing Research: A Pilot Study

Disability and Community Inclusion, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park SA 5042, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(3), 170;
Submission received: 29 November 2023 / Revised: 27 February 2024 / Accepted: 5 March 2024 / Published: 18 March 2024


Housing and future planning have been key areas of interest in intellectual and development disabilities research for a number of decades. However, the voices of adults with intellectual disabilities are underrepresented in this area of research. Furthermore, the use of inclusive research methods remains limited in the literature. This study sought to pilot the use of inclusive research approaches to investigate the viability of these methods and to begin to build an evidence base of inclusive research in this area of work. Inclusive data analysis and co-authorship approaches were used on a small qualitative dataset from a larger study investigating future planning and transitions out of the family home by adults with intellectual disabilities and their families in Australia. Three semi-structured interviews with adults with intellectual disabilities and family members regarding their housing preferences and planning were analysed using an inclusive data analysis approach following the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. These were then further analysed using a plain language version of the housing pathways framework. The results of the pilot study will be used to inform the inclusive research methods used for the remainder of the project dataset. Overall, the use of inclusive methods to pilot a conceptual model to better understand qualitative data was found to be feasible. Small adjustments to the process and accessibility to better support engagement with the research process are recommended. Lastly, greater investigation into co-authorship approaches and options is suggested as a fruitful avenue of inquiry for future research.

1. Introduction

This paper discusses the process and outcomes of an inclusive pilot study. It was co-authored involving a co-researcher with an intellectual disability (third author) and university academic researchers (first, second, fourth, and fifth authors). It uses an inclusive data analysis process and tests the inclusive use of the housing pathways model (Clapham 2002) in relation to the housing preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities and their families when they are planning for the future. It is part of a larger research project investigating transitions out of the family home for adults with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Globally, as adults with intellectual disabilities and their family caregivers age, future planning can be a way of ensuring the family member with intellectual disability’s needs continue to be met after family caregivers are no longer able to provide care (Brennan et al. 2020). Consequently, Lee and Burke (2020) suggested that future planning has become one of the most pressing issues in intellectual and developmental disabilities research. Housing is seen as an especially important part of future planning (Hole et al. 2013; Lindahl et al. 2019; Thakkar 2018). However, research shows that adults with intellectual disabilities tend not to participate in decision-making about where they live (Salmon et al. 2019). Not only are adults with intellectual disabilities often excluded from this process, but they are also underrepresented in research, particularly people with more complex support needs and/or who use alternative communication methods (Bibby 2012; Lee and Burke 2020; Walker and Hutchinson 2018). Furthermore, there is limited use of inclusive research practices in the areas of future planning (Hole et al. 2013, is a notable exception) and housing research for people with intellectual disabilities (Salmon et al. 2019). This is a significant limitation, given the centrality of the “nothing about us without us” principle of the disability rights movement (O’Brien et al. 2022). This pilot study sought to utilise inclusive research methods, also involving the inclusive use of the housing pathways framework to both investigate the viability of these approaches and to begin to address the lack of inclusive research practices in this area of research.

1.1. Housing Pathways Framework

Housing policy theorist David Clapham’s (2002) housing pathways framework is recognised as integrating individual agency, housing policy, and social discourse around housing. According to Clapham (2002, p. 63), a housing pathway refers to “patterns of interaction (practices) concerning house and home, over time and space”. An important feature of these interactions is how the household itself views them as opposed to the perspective of these interactions reflected in housing policies. This is deemed a more personalised view of housing. There are a number of key elements to a housing pathway. Firstly, a housing career is part of a housing pathway and refers to a household’s mobility. This involves changes to a household’s location, tenure, and/or physical characteristics. Often, mobility is triggered by life stages and events, such as marriage or retirement. In addition, the pathways approach considers the physical characteristics of the dwelling such as the layout and how these are viewed by the household. Thirdly, it considers the way in which the house is used by its occupants; for example, it may also be a place of work. Interactions with neighbours and experiences of the local area are also part of a housing pathway. Relationships connected to the dwelling as a result of the type of tenure of its occupants are also considered, for example tenant and landlord. Moreover, a household’s life planning activities are important to understanding its housing consumption. Life planning and life stage events in this understanding are related to identity and a household’s attempts at identity creation and self-fulfilment. Importantly, identity formation is a product of the household’s actions as well as wider social norms, including discourses around housing related to particular groups in society, such as people with disabilities (Clapham 2002).
A key part of a housing pathway is a housing junction. These are the points at which a housing pathway changes, and these junctions provide valuable opportunities for evaluating and understanding housing policy (Clapham 2005). Such a junction is the topic of the interview data under examination where participants discussed their own or their family member’s plans for moving out of the family home. The housing pathways model and related concepts have been adopted to a limited extent in disability studies (e.g., Chou and Kröger 2022; Mackie 2012), and, to our knowledge, they have never been used in an inclusive research study.

1.2. Inclusive Research Perspective

We use the term inclusive research to refer to research which “involves people who may otherwise be seen as subjects for the research as instigators of ideas, research designers, interviewers, data analysts, authors, disseminators and users” (Walmsley and Johnson 2003, p. 10). This definition aligns with the current co-researcher’s description of inclusive research as being for people with disability and is how they interpret research and findings.
Furthermore, we acknowledge that terminology is important and that there is debate in relation to the use of the term “co-researcher”. The current co-researcher preferred this terminology for his role and defined it as someone who finds out and collaborates information on different topics. It involves putting together reports, analysing data, and participating in online meetings. This aligns with the definition of co-researcher articulated by Walmsley et al. (2018), acknowledging the distinct contributions of the university researchers and co-researchers, while indicating that the process of inclusive research is collaborative.
There has been increasing discussion around whether inclusive research has reached a second generation, where it is appropriate for greater focus to be on research outcomes with less emphasis placed on process. We agree with Walmsley et al. (2018) that more information and insight is still needed into the process of inclusive research itself. Transparency remains important to determine good research practice (Tilley et al. 2021). Furthermore, data analysis and manuscript preparation are still mostly conducted by university researchers and not co-researchers. Additional discussion is necessary to establish and refine sound and quality inclusive research practices in these areas specifically (Nind 2017a; Riches et al. 2020; Rix et al. 2022; Seale et al. 2015; Stevenson 2014). Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of utilising inclusive research methods, particularly the inclusive use of a conceptual framework on a small dataset relating to housing preferences and future planning, with the aim of expanding this approach to a wider dataset.
The two research questions for this pilot study were as follows:
  • Is it feasible to use inclusive data analysis and co-authorship approaches in future planning and housing research?
  • Is it feasible to use the housing pathways framework for data analysis in an inclusive manner in relation to the housing preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities and their families when engaging in future planning?

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. The Wider Study

This pilot study forms part of a wider mixed-methods project with three stages of research and analysis involving adults with intellectual disabilities, family members, and disability service providers in Australia. The aims were (1) to determine what “successful” transitions out of the family home look like; (2) to ascertain the post-parental housing preferences and needs of adults with intellectual disabilities and family members; and (3) to develop evidence-based resources to facilitate decision-making about future care and housing. The project was underpinned by principles of inclusive co-design research and involved supporting and mentoring a person with intellectual disability as a paid co-researcher. The project received ethics approval by the Flinders University Human Research Ethics Committee (4635).

2.2. The Pilot Study

The pilot study used the data from three semi-structured interviews with adults with intellectual disabilities and family members regarding their post-parental care and housing preferences and needs from the second stage of the project. The interviews were all conducted by the first author in the same state in Australia between December 2021 and June 2022. Interviews lasted between a 40 and 70 min duration. They were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim by a professional transcription service. Transcripts were deidentified and stored on university servers with password protection. Participants were asked about: their ideal housing and living arrangements, including support arrangements; whether different family members had different preferences and desires; the extent to which they had begun planning for a move out of the family home; whether moves out of the family home had been attempted before; their goals for moving out; and any concerns about the move. Participants were provided with an information sheet about the project and consent form prior to interview and were asked to sign and return the consent form before the interview. Easy-read versions of these forms were provided to participants with intellectual disability. It was emphasised that participation in the study was voluntary; participants could withdraw without penalty at any time; they could refuse to answer any questions; could raise concerns or complaints with Flinders University’s Research ethics and compliance team; and were given the details of free mental health and disability support services if needed.
The specific steps of the pilot study were: identifying the housing pathways framework as an analytical tool; selecting an appropriate sub-set of the larger dataset to pilot; undertaking inclusive data analysis of three transcripts; applying the housing pathways framework to the themes generated from the data analysis; and co-authoring a manuscript. Its aims were to develop the skills of both the co-researcher and university researchers in inclusive research practices and to test whether the housing pathways framework could be used inclusively to better understand a qualitative dataset. The lessons learnt from the pilot regarding the inclusive research approaches used would subsequently inform the inclusive approach adopted for analysis of the remainder of the dataset.
Numerous studies have attempted to define steps for good quality inclusive research (Johnson et al. 2014; Nind and Vinha 2013; Walmsley et al. 2018). We have used modified recommendations about inclusive data analysis by Tilley et al. (2021) to inform our overall approach. Table 1 describes the co-researcher’s and university researchers’ perspectives of each recommendation. This information is presented in detail to also highlight the different strategies used to address the recommendations. In particular, it underscores the use of both simple interventions, such as creating an informal and relaxed atmosphere by going to the university café, as well as the more detailed and nuanced strategies necessary for successful inclusive data analysis.

2.3. Inclusive Data Analysis Approach

Our way of conducting data analysis centred on what Nind et al. (2016) referred to as the apprenticeship model. This involved the co-researcher working alongside university researchers who acted as mentors and modelled research skills. Nind (2017a) argued that the loss of traditional academic complexity that can occur in inclusive data analysis is counterbalanced by the perspective gained from the co-researcher.
The analysis itself was undertaken using the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The focus of exploring housing preferences was on lived experiences, and IPA supports this due to its grounding in phenomenology. It also recognises the interpretative process in data analysis (Eatough and Smith 2017). The approach allows analysis at the level of each individual interview, followed by an analysis of the dataset, identifying points of commonality and difference (Smith 2011). Lastly, it is appropriate for smaller datasets (Eatough and Smith 2017).
Three transcripts were chosen from the eight comprising the entire dataset at the time. One of the aims of the study was to pilot the housing pathways framework in an inclusive manner as an analytic tool and assess its feasibility; therefore, only a sub-set of the data was used for this part of the study. Depending on the outcomes of the pilot, these methods would then be considered for analysis of the remainder of the dataset. The co-researcher and university researcher discussed that three transcripts would be chosen, and the university researcher deliberated with the co-researcher regarding what the criteria for the included transcripts might be. It was important that the three transcripts were representative of the dataset in as many ways as possible. This included being representative of the methods employed to conduct the interviews; participants at different points in the future planning journey; participants considering different dwelling and tenure types; and different living arrangements. The co-researcher and university researcher went through all of the transcripts and discussed these aspects to choose the most representative sample. Details of the chosen transcripts are shown below. Pseudonyms have been used.
  • John and Carol: a dyad interview with a family member and adult with intellectual disability; conducted via a videoconferencing platform; active planning for John to remain in the family home;
  • Betty: an interview with just a family member; conducted in person; considering specialist disability accommodation (SDA)1 with potential housemates;
  • Jennifer: an interview with just an adult with intellectual disability; conducted in person; considering purchasing a home and potentially moving in with her boyfriend.
The specific steps taken to complete the inclusive data analysis using the three transcripts are outlined below.
  • The first reading of the transcript was for familiarization only. The co-researcher would read a section of the page and would then discuss it generally with the university researcher, including discussing sections that may be more difficult to understand.
  • In the second reading of the transcript, the co-researcher would highlight sections of the transcript he thought were interesting, important, and relevant to understanding the housing needs and preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities and their family members.
  • From this information, the co-researcher then wrote a summary of the transcript, and these were used as an easy reference point.
  • The co-researcher then used the highlighted sections of the transcript to develop themes highlighting the housing preferences and needs of adults with intellectual disabilities and their family members.
  • This process was repeated for the second transcript.
  • The next step involved analysing the separate themes from the first two transcripts together and generating themes for both.
  • The co-researcher presented these preliminary findings at a meeting of the entire research team to receive feedback on his analysis.
  • The same process for generating themes from the first two transcripts was followed for the third transcript and for generating themes between the first two transcripts and the third transcript.
  • The co-researcher and the university researcher discussed what they would call the themes, how they would describe them, and what participant quotes they would use to help illustrate them. This information is available in the results section.

2.4. Housing Pathways Approach

Once the data analysis had been completed and themes generated, the housing pathways framework was piloted. A simplified version of the housing pathways concepts presented in plain language was created by the researchers in this study and was used for the purpose of discussion of the framework with the co-researcher. This document is presented in Table 2. The concepts covered were mobility, including moving house; the physical features of a dwelling; how the dwelling is used by its occupants; neighbours and the wider geographical location and area; tenure; the role of housing in life planning; social discourses around housing which indicate expectations for housing, such as what dwellings are considered appropriate for older adulthood; and age and life stage of individuals and the household (Clapham 2002).
The process undertaken for this part of the study is outlined below.
  • A plain language version of the housing pathways framework (Clapham 2002) was created by the university researcher (first author) and is included in Table 2.
  • The university researchers (first and second authors) and co-researcher (third author) met to discuss the framework, including what piloting the framework would involve and how they might go about using it.
  • The co-researcher and university researchers decided they would discuss each theme individually in relation to each of the different housing pathways concepts contained in the plain language version.
  • The university researchers and co-researcher met at the university campus a number of times to do this, and each made notes of their discussions.
  • Once the process of analysis was finished, the notes were condensed into one set of notes which were shared.
  • From these notes, the co-researcher dictated to the university researcher how the discussion using the housing pathways framework should be written. The university researcher typed it up, and this information is included as part of the discussion section of this article.

2.5. Co-Authorship Approach

Co-authorship is not an uncontested space in inclusive research (Riches et al. 2020; Strnadová and Walmsley 2018). The approach for manuscript preparation was a combination of the apprenticeship model discussed for data analysis while also employing principles of the inclusive immersion model, where the co-researcher and university researchers work through the writing steps together and collaborate to solve problems (Nind et al. 2016). The process of writing a manuscript for publication in an academic journal was explained to the co-researcher. The co-researcher then decided whether he would be interested in being involved in writing a manuscript based on the data analysis he had undertaken and the use of the housing pathways framework. He reflected that he wanted to write a paper that others would read. He was interested in learning about other people’s reactions and receiving feedback on his analysis. The co-researcher’s main contributions to co-authorship are included as part of the steps outlined above for the data analysis and use of the housing pathways framework.

3. Results

The results are presented here to illustrate the outcomes of the inclusive data analysis process. Participants’ demographic details as composed by the co-researcher are below.
Interview 1: John and Carol
John is a 43-year-old male. He is single and was born in Australia. Carol is 76 years old, and she is John’s mother. John has a brother, a sister-in-law, and a nephew and two nieces.
Interview 2: Betty
Patricia is 26 years old. Warren and Betty are her parents. Robert is her older brother, and he is 28. Patricia has a younger sister Kathy, who is 21.
Interview 3: Jennifer
Jennifer is 22 and she is ready to move out of home. Jennifer currently receives support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).2
Table 3 includes the themes identified and named by the co-researcher, including the participant quotes chosen to illustrate these themes. Four themes were generated: transport is important; finances are important; respite for Patricia; and people’s ages.

4. Discussion

Both the experience of piloting the housing pathways framework to guide data analysis and the results of the analysis undertaken using the framework will be discussed. The results of the analysis are presented to highlight the outcomes of the inclusive use of the housing pathways framework. The links between themes and housing pathways concepts as articulated by the co-researcher can be found in Table 4. In summary, mobility does not always involve a physical move out of the home but can include a change in the configuration of the household, and this involves changes in the uses of the house by the individual household members. The outdoor physical features of a home can be as important as the dwelling design. Neighbourhoods and the local area can help to service the transport needs of a household and contribute to its perceived safety. Home ownership can be a goal in a housing pathway. Furthermore, the housing needs of a household can change depending on what the life plans are of the individual members of the household, including in relation to work, study, and relationships. Social discourses around housing can also be linked to wider social and policy discourses about the perceived needs of particular groups in society, such as funding models for people with disabilities. Finally, the ages and life stages of the entire household can impact the consumption of a dwelling and dictate plans for future housing and living arrangements of its individual members.

4.1. Reflections on the Pilot Study

Our overall assessment of piloting the housing pathways framework is that it is feasible to use in this area of disability studies. Moreover, it can be used in an inclusive manner.

4.1.1. Lessons Learnt

This pilot study was an opportunity for the co-researcher and research team to try new ways of conducting inclusive research, particularly using the housing pathways framework. While there were many lessons learnt from the experience, the following five were the most impactful in terms of process and outcomes. Firstly, while the co-researcher and university researcher discussed the way in which the transcripts would be used and chose not to use other mediums through which to engage with them, having the transcripts presented in more than one way would have most likely improved the data analysis and helped to encourage engagement with the material (García Iriarte et al. 2023; Strnadová et al. 2022). Secondly, much of the work on the pilot study was completed by just the co-researcher and the university researcher. García Iriarte et al. (2023) and Stevenson (2014) convincingly demonstrated the benefits of the peer group in conducting inclusive research, both in terms of outcomes and in providing members with informal support. It may be useful to consider group data analysis for larger inclusive data analysis projects. Thirdly, through the plain language version of the housing pathways framework, we were able to effectively and inclusively use a complex conceptual framework for analysis and discussion. We suggest that accessibility is the key to previously closed off information and ways of knowing, and, in fact, accessibility is foundational to the inclusive research model proposed by Schwartz et al. (2020). Fourthly, while the presentation of the conceptual material was successful, its implementation requires further consideration. This process was time consuming and repetitive and while some of this cannot be avoided, again, it may be beneficial to consider different ways of making the process of using theory more accessible, such as through creative arts (Cousik et al. 2017). Finally, it is important to continue to engage with co-authorship processes and test different means of achieving co-authorship aims. In particular, as Strnadová and Walmsley (2018) suggested, information sharing through academic journals does not need to be the only method of co-authorship and dissemination. Other media may be more useful, particularly in terms of advocacy and awareness-raising. With regard to the pilot study, co-authorship in an academic journal was a goal of both the co-researcher and university researchers. However, identifying other co-authorship goals early in the inclusive research process would likely have expanded the co-authorship approach and related options.

4.1.2. Next Steps

In relation to the pilot work specifically, the next steps involve developing a method for using the housing pathways framework in an inclusive manner for the entire dataset from the second stage of the project. Secondly, it may also be beneficial to consider subsequently developed concepts by Clapham (2010), which seek to explore the relationship between housing and well-being. These concepts are personal control; identity and self-esteem; social support; and inequality and housing policy. Clapham (2010) argues for their importance when developing and evaluating housing policy.

4.1.3. Future Research Considerations

Inclusive research methodology needs to be an increasing focus of future planning and housing research with people with intellectual disabilities. The inclusive use of valuable conceptual frameworks in this area has much to contribute to better understanding complex and nuanced experiences. Furthermore, frameworks such as the housing pathways, which have a policy focus, can be especially useful in knowledge translation. Such an approach supports the three goals of inclusive research outlined by Nind (2017b), namely creating sound knowledge and supporting advocacy and sustainability.

4.2. Strengths and Limitations

This pilot study used a small dataset as a means of testing inclusive data analysis practices, the co-authorship approach, and the use of a conceptual framework. It would be useful to take the lessons learnt from the pilot study and apply these to a larger dataset, which would allow for greater generalisability of the results and would further test the methods employed. This study demonstrates that it is possible to undertake inclusive data analysis, use a conceptual framework, and co-author a manuscript while maintaining principles of academic rigor.

5. Conclusions

This study indicates that inclusive data analysis, co-authorship, and the inclusive use of a conceptual framework for analysis are all possible. Creating an inclusive and accessible environment on campus, engaging in a constant reflexive process with the co-researcher, allowing for enough time to complete tasks, and ensuring the accessibility of information were all positive aspects of the current pilot study that are easily replicated. Greater attention is needed to making research processes more engaging and accessible, such as through the use of creative arts approaches, like drama or creative writing. Furthermore, greater exploration of team inclusive research approaches is needed, in particular to balance the benefits, such as peer support, with some of the challenges, such as managing group dynamics. Finding ways to meaningfully present the outcomes of inclusive research requires further investigation. Furthermore, greater dialogue is needed regarding the place of co-authorship in academia. In particular, more co-authorship studies are required that challenge existing boundaries between what is considered traditionally academic writing and more informal writing and communication, while providing additional insights and strategies for how co-authorship goals can be achieved. Lastly, the use of the housing pathways framework allows for a consideration of housing experiences, which focuses on the perspective of the household and takes into account the household’s housing behaviour, wider discourses around housing, and housing policy. This allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced analysis and understanding of housing behaviours, enriching the current approach to housing in the field of disability studies. Overall, the pilot study demonstrates that it is possible for all stages of research to be conducted inclusively with the aims of making sound knowledge contributions and empowering those involved in its production.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, I.B., F.R., T.A., R.W. and C.H.; Methodology, I.B., F.R., T.A., R.W. and C.H.; Formal analysis, I.B., F.R. and T.A.; Writing–original draft, I.B., F.R. and T.A.; Writing–review & editing, I.B., F.R., T.A., R.W. and C.H.; Supervision, F.R. and R.W.; Project administration, I.B. and R.W.; Funding acquisition, F.R., R.W. and C.H. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


Australian Research Council: LP200200326.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Flinders University (project number 4635; date of approval 15 November 2021).

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all participants involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

The data used in this study are not available for ethical reasons pertaining to the nature of consent received from the research participants.


The authors would like to acknowledge the study participants’ generous sharing of their experiences and time. The authors would also like to acknowledge the wider research team for their feedback on the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.


Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) refers to specialist housing for individuals with higher support needs (National Disability Insurance Agency 2022).
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian Federal government initiative that provides individualised funding to support the costs of living with a disability (National Disability Insurance Agency 2023).
Supported independent living (SIL) is funding provided through the NDIS that helps individuals who require a higher level of support to live in their own home (National Disability Insurance Agency 2021).


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Table 1. Inclusive research approach and steps (adapted from Tilley et al.’s (2021) recommendations).
Table 1. Inclusive research approach and steps (adapted from Tilley et al.’s (2021) recommendations).
Inclusive Research StepsCo-Researcher (Third Author)University Researchers (First and Second Authors)
1. Plan ahead.We needed an office with computers in it, so we could type our information. We needed to work out how many hours to work and to organise cab vouchers for when I came on campus. We would call and email each other about this.The project is mixed-methods inclusive, with a co-design. The co-researcher was employed early in the project. Initially, this involved the co-design of recruitment material, including creating easy-read information and recruitment videos. He was then involved in data analysis, piloting of the housing pathways framework, and manuscript preparation.
2. When collecting the data, remember that it will be analysed inclusively.When the university researcher was collecting the data, we would talk about what we might do with it, like analyse it. We would discuss why we might do that.Given that the co-researcher was part of the project from a very early stage, discussions about the research process, including data collection, occurred at the same time as the research activities were being undertaken.
3. Build trust and rapport between the researchers.One of the university researchers (second author) who knew me before the project helped with the first couple of meetings with me and the university researcher (first author). Me and the first author introduced ourselves and said what we do. We started contacting each other through email, making appointments to catch up, and be on time and be reliable. Sometimes we would catch up at the university café.From the outset, the co-researcher worked closely with the university researchers in a number of different ways. This helped to build rapport and trust. The co-researcher had previously attended the university and was already familiar with the campus. Building on this, several rooms conducive to group work were used for meetings and to work together. Mid-way through the sessions, the co-researcher and university researcher would take a break and often have a coffee together at the university café. The co-researcher would also attend the research team meetings, and this helped to build rapport and trust with the other team members as well.
4. Think of different ways to support the co-researcher’s engagement.When there was a lot of text, we would stop and break it down. When I did not understand something, we would work together to try and understand it, like asking questions and using examples. We would only look at one or two pages of transcript at a time, and I would highlight important parts.Before beginning the data analysis, deidentified transcripts were printed out and the co-researcher and university researchers discussed what a transcript was, as well as the different parts to it, and the co-researcher read some of it. They discussed how they wanted to approach the analysis. The co-researcher was happy to use the original transcripts, rather than modified versions. They would work on one or two pages of transcript in each session. This was based on text density and amount because the co-researcher had indicated that too much text was difficult to understand.A plain language version of the housing pathways framework (Clapham 2002) was developed to help guide the discussion of the themes developed from the data analysis.
5. Carefully select the data to be used.We only looked at three transcripts. Each transcript was about a different type of interview. One was with a parent and adult with intellectual disability, one was with just a parent, and another with just an adult with intellectual disability. We also looked at these transcripts because each interview had different answers.Given that the study was a pilot of using the housing pathways framework for analysis, it was appropriate for only a sub-set of the data to be analysed.
6. Everyone has different expertise.We would acknowledge each other’s viewpoints.The co-researcher and university researchers offered their opinions and thoughts. Where these diverged, they would discuss if it was necessary to come to a consensus and where it was, they would discuss the different aspects of their opinions and choose the one they believed best answered the question or was most illustrative of what they were trying to achieve.
7. Discuss the process periodically.After every couple of sessions, we would talk about how we were feeling about the work and if we wanted to change anything.At select points during the process, the co-researcher and university researcher would each discuss their thoughts and feelings about the process, including what was working and what was not. Notes were made of these conversations, and these reflections are found throughout the manuscript.
Table 2. Plain language wording of the housing pathways framework developed and used by the current researchers (based on Clapham’s (2002) housing pathways framework).
Table 2. Plain language wording of the housing pathways framework developed and used by the current researchers (based on Clapham’s (2002) housing pathways framework).
Article Details and Housing Pathways ConceptsAnswers and Explanations of Housing Pathways Concepts
Who is the author?David Clapham
What is the name of the article?Housing pathways: a postmodern analytical framework
What year was the article published? 2002
What is the name of the journal the article is in? (A journal is where different articles on similar topics are kept)Housing, Theory and Society
What is the article about?
  • The article is about an idea called “housing pathways”.
  • You can use this idea to help you understand why people live where they do.
  • You can also use it to help you understand why people move.
What is a housing pathway?
  • Over time, people can do many different things with where they live, like moving house, buying an apartment, or renting a townhouse.
  • These things are called a housing pathway.
  • There are many different parts to a housing pathway.
  • Mobility is one part of a housing pathway.
  • It means a person changes where they live.
  • There are many reasons a person might want to move. For example, they might have a new job.
  • They might also want to change the type of house they live in. For example, they might want a smaller or a bigger house.
Physical features of a property
  • The physical features of a property can be important to people and are another part of the housing pathway.
  • These include if it is a house, townhouse, or apartment.
  • If it is old or new.
  • If is in good condition or bad condition.
  • If there is a lot of space or not much space.
How the property is used
  • How people use the property is another part of the housing pathway. For example, it might be a house near the beach, and this means the people who live there can swim at the beach often.
Neighbours and the area
  • What neighbours and the neighbourhood are like is another part of the housing pathway.
  • How people relate to their neighbours and the neighbourhood is also important.
  • Tenure is another part of the housing pathway.
  • This refers to whether the person has bought the property or is renting.
Life planning
  • Life planning is another part of a housing pathway.
  • Life planning refers to all the other important things in a person’s life, like family, a job, and education.
  • People’s housing choices are often also influenced by these things.
  • For example, a person may decide to go to university and stay living with their parents until they finish their studies.
Other influences
  • Other things can influence where a person lives, which they do not have choice over. For example, how much government funding they might be able to get to help them move out of their family home.
  • Time is another part of a housing pathway.
  • Time can be a person’s age. A person might want to move out of home because they have turned a certain age.
  • Time can also be the ages of the people in someone’s family. Parents may decide to move the family into a different home when they retire.
Table 3. Themes, theme summaries, and illustrative quotes.
Table 3. Themes, theme summaries, and illustrative quotes.
ThemesTheme SummariesQuotes
Transport is importantFor all three participants, transport needs were a significant determining factor in the choice of location. For John and Jennifer, access to public transport was vital in enabling them to meet their work and other commitments and in having access to amenities, like shops. Conversely, Patricia was unable to use public transport and finds car travel difficult. Consequently, a location which is both close to the family home and amentities is important.“Definitely yeah. So, that’s one of the main priorities was to get it [dwelling] in an area that was close to public transport” (Carol)
Finances are importantIndividual and family finances similarly impacted housing and life-planning decisions. Jennifer was saving money for a house deposit, and this was contributing to her delaying moving out of the family home. John was planning on remaining in the family home but with more independence in his living arrangements. Keeping the family home was considered financially beneficial for all members of the family. It was anticipated that Patricia’s move out of the family home would allow Betty and Warren to work more and save more money. Both Jennifer and Carol also expressed concerns around financial vulnerability and the potential for independence in living arrangements to heighten the risk of financial exploitation. “Yeah, because I think I would be very sad or upset if you buy a house and you get, you know, your money gets stolen, or you know. You don’t want to go through that” (Jennifer)
Respite for PatriciaFor Betty and Patricia, the successful use of short-term accommodation heavily influenced housing preferences. Betty wanted Patricia to find long-term housing with the disability services provider responsible for her short-term accommodation.“She’s always been at [name of organisation]. She started at respite when she was six” (Betty)
People’s agesThe ages of the adults with intellectual disabilities in combination with the ages of household members was a factor in the timing of the move out of home and was connected to broader life planning around housing. Significant milestones included reaching young adulthood; parents preparing for retirement; and, in Carol’s case, a desire for a lifestyle change, which reflected her changing priorities as she was ageing.“Because I feel like at a certain age, you know, when you’re ready to move out that adult, teenage age, you know” (Jennifer)
Table 4. Discussion of themes utilising the housing pathways framework (Clapham 2002). Housing pathways are reworded from Clapham’s work in this table, for the purpose and context of our study.
Table 4. Discussion of themes utilising the housing pathways framework (Clapham 2002). Housing pathways are reworded from Clapham’s work in this table, for the purpose and context of our study.
Transport Is ImportantFinances Are ImportantRespite for PatriciaPeople’s Ages
Housing pathways
Mobility Carol cannot afford to buy another house for John to live in, so John and Carol have decided to stay in the family home.
Physical features Betty would like Patricia to have a good outdoor area that she can use in her house, just like she has at respite. At respite, the grounds are beautiful, and she can go for a walk or ride her bike.
Dwelling use Because Carol could not afford to buy another property, the plan is for the house to be used full-time by John and part-time by Carol and other family members.
Neighbours and areaAreas where public transport is within walking distance and close to home are important, as are areas that are central and close to what people do. Location is important for Patricia’s safety, and Betty would like a place that is in a safe location for Patricia like her respite is.
Tenure John and Carol own their home. Jennifer wants to buy her own house.
Life planningTransport is linked to life planning. Jennifer wants to use public transport to continue to go to university and will need it in the future for her job. John needs the train to go to work. Betty thought it was important for Patricia to live close to home in the future so Betty could easily visit, and Patricia does not have to stay in the car long.In Jennifer’s case, she wants to move in with her boyfriend, and she is saving money for her own house and still living with her parents. Betty and Warren are thinking about their retirement, and Patricia moving out will help them retire financially.
Social discourses on housing John, Jennifer, and Patricia are all on the NDIS. Patricia is affected most by the NDIS because of her wants and needs for SDA and supported independent living (SIL).3
Age and life-stage Jennifer feels ready to move out because of her age. Jennifer’s sister wants to move out of the family home too. Carol is older and wants to spend more time with her grandchildren who live faraway. In this case, John and Carol plan to share the house for six months at a time and for the other six months, Carol will be with her grandchildren.
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Belperio, I.; Rillotta, F.; Adam, T.; Walker, R.; Hutchinson, C. Using Inclusive Research Methods and the Housing Pathways Framework in Future Planning and Housing Research: A Pilot Study. Soc. Sci. 2024, 13, 170.

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Belperio I, Rillotta F, Adam T, Walker R, Hutchinson C. Using Inclusive Research Methods and the Housing Pathways Framework in Future Planning and Housing Research: A Pilot Study. Social Sciences. 2024; 13(3):170.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Belperio, Irene, Fiona Rillotta, Tim Adam, Ruth Walker, and Claire Hutchinson. 2024. "Using Inclusive Research Methods and the Housing Pathways Framework in Future Planning and Housing Research: A Pilot Study" Social Sciences 13, no. 3: 170.

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